Omar Bradley
Overview
 
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and a General of the Army
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

 in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. He was the last surviving five-star commissioned officer of the United States and the first general to be selected Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

.
Bradley, the son of schoolteacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

 John Smith Bradley (1868-1908) and Mary Elizabeth Hubbard (1875-1931), was born into poverty in rural Randolph County, near Clark, Missouri
Clark, Missouri
Clark is a city in Randolph County, Missouri, United States. The population was 275 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Clark is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land....

, He attended country schools where his father taught.
Quotations

The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

Speech given on November 11, 1948

Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is a sort of an all-inclusive thing. If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader.

On military character

Encyclopedia
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and a General of the Army
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

 in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. He was the last surviving five-star commissioned officer of the United States and the first general to be selected Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

.

Early life and career

Bradley, the son of schoolteacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

 John Smith Bradley (1868-1908) and Mary Elizabeth Hubbard (1875-1931), was born into poverty in rural Randolph County, near Clark, Missouri
Clark, Missouri
Clark is a city in Randolph County, Missouri, United States. The population was 275 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Clark is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land....

, He attended country schools where his father taught. When Omar was 13 his father, with whom he credited passing on to him a love of books, baseball and shooting, died. His mother moved to Moberly
Moberly, Missouri
Moberly is a city in Randolph County, Missouri, United States. According to the 2008 census bureau estimate, the population was 14,227. The city was incorporated 1868. The Moberly Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Randolph County....

 and remarried. Bradley graduated from Moberly High School in 1910, an outstanding student and captain of both the baseball and football teams.

Bradley was working as a boiler maker at the Wabash Railroad when he was encouraged by his Sunday school teacher at Central Christian Church in Moberly
Moberly, Missouri
Moberly is a city in Randolph County, Missouri, United States. According to the 2008 census bureau estimate, the population was 14,227. The city was incorporated 1868. The Moberly Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Randolph County....

 to take the entrance examination for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY
West Point, New York
West Point is a federal military reservation established by President of the United States Thomas Jefferson in 1802. It is a census-designated place located in Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York, United States. The population was 7,138 at the 2000 census...

 Bradley had been planning on saving his money to enter the University of Missouri
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

 in Columbia
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...

, where he intended to study law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

. He finished second in the West Point placement exams at Jefferson Barracks Military Post
Jefferson Barracks Military Post
The Jefferson Barracks Military Post, located on the Mississippi River at Lemay, Missouri, which is just south of St. Louis, Missouri,was, at first owned land by the DeGamache's then borrowed by military leaders, but after war, the land was not returned. It was an important and highly active U.S....

 in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

. The first place winner was unable to accept the Congressional appointment, deferring instead to Bradley. While at the academy, Bradley's focus on sports prevented him from excelling academically. He was a baseball star, though, and often played on semi-pro teams for no remuneration (to ensure his eligibility to represent the academy). He was considered one of the most outstanding college players in the nation his junior and senior seasons at West Point, noted as both a power hitter and an outfielder with one of the best arms in his day. While at West Point, Bradley joined the local Masonic Lodge in Highland Falls, New York
Highland Falls, New York
Highland Falls, formerly named Buttermilk Falls, is a village in Orange County, New York, United States. The population was 3,678 at the 2000 census. The village was founded in 1906...

.

Bradley's first wife, Mary Quayle, grew up across the street from him in Moberly. The pair attended Central Christian Church and Moberly High School together. Moberly called Bradley its favorite son and throughout his life Bradley called Moberly his hometown and his favorite city in the world. He was a frequent visitor to Moberly throughout his career, was a member of the Moberly Rotary Club, played near handicap golf regularly at the local course and had a "Bradley pew" at Central Christian Church. When a flag project opened in 2009 in the Moberly cemetery, General Bradley and his first son-in-law and West Point graduate, the late Major Henry Shaw Bukema, were memorialized with flags in their honor from grateful citizens.

U.S. Army

At West Point Bradley lettered in baseball three times, including the 1914 team, from which every player remaining in the army became a general. He graduated from West Point in 1915 as part of a class that contained many future generals, and which military historians have called "the class the stars fell on
The class the stars fell on
"The class the stars fell on" is an expression used to describe the United States Military Academy class of 1915. In the U.S. Army, the insignia reserved for generals is one or more stars. Of the 164 graduates that year, 59 attained the rank of general, the most of any class in the history of the...

". There were ultimately 59 generals in that graduating class, with Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 attaining the rank of General of the Army
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

.

Bradley was commissioned into the infantry and was first assigned to the 14th Infantry Regiment
U.S. 14th Infantry Regiment
The 14th Infantry Regiment is a United States Army light infantry regiment, known as the Golden Dragons. It has been active in every major conflict since its creation, except World War I, including the American Civil War, Boxer Rebellion, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert...

. He served on the U.S.-Mexico border in 1915. When war was declared, he was promoted to captain and sent to guard the Butte, Montana
Butte, Montana
Butte is a city in Montana and the county seat of Silver Bow County, United States. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of Butte-Silver Bow. As of the 2010 census, Butte's population was 34,200...

 copper mines.

Bradley joined the 19th Infantry Division in August 1918, which was scheduled for European deployment, but the influenza pandemic
Spanish flu
The 1918 flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic, and the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus . It was an unusually severe and deadly pandemic that spread across the world. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin...

 and the armistice prevented it.

Between the wars, he taught and studied. From 1920–24, he taught mathematics at West Point. He was promoted to major
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

 in 1924 and took the advanced infantry course at Fort Benning, Georgia. After a brief service in Hawaii, he studied at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army facility located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, immediately north of the city of Leavenworth in the upper northeast portion of the state. It is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C. and has been in operation for over 180 years...

 in 1928–29. From 1929, he taught at West Point again, taking a break to study at the Army War College
U.S. Army War College
The United States Army War College is a United States Army school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500 acre campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks...

 in 1934. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

 in 1936 and worked at the War Department
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

; after 1938 he was directly under Army Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

 George Marshall
George Marshall
George Catlett Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense...

. In February 1941, he was promoted to brigadier general
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

 (bypassing the rank of colonel
Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, colonel is a senior field grade military officer rank just above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general...

) and sent to command Fort Benning (the first from his class to become a general officer). In February 1942, he took command of the 82nd Infantry Division
U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
The 82nd Airborne Division is an active airborne infantry division of the United States Army specializing in parachute landing operations. Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is the primary fighting arm of the XVIII Airborne Corps....

 before being switched to the 28th Infantry Division in June.

World War II

Bradley did not receive a front-line command until early 1943, after Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

. He had been given VIII Corps
VIII Corps (United States)
The U.S. VIII Corps was a corps of the United States Army that saw service during various times over a fifty-year period during the twentieth century. The VIII Corps was organized 26–29 November 1918 in the Regular Army in France and demobilized on 20 April 1919. The VIII Corps was soon...

, but instead was sent to North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 to be Eisenhower's front-line troubleshooter. At Bradley's suggestion, II Corps, which had just suffered the devastating loss at the Kasserine Pass, was overhauled from top to bottom, and Eisenhower installed George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 as corps commander. Patton requested Bradley as his deputy, but Bradley retained the right to represent Eisenhower as well.

Bradley succeeded Patton as head of II Corps in April and directed it in the final Tunisian battles of April and May. Promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, Bradley commanded the Second Corps in the invasion of Sicily.

Normandy 1944

Bradley moved to London as commander in chief of the American ground forces preparing to invade France in 1944. For D-Day, Bradley was chosen to command the US 1st Army, which alongside the British Second Army made up General Montgomery's 21st Army Group.

On 10 June, General Bradley and his staff debarked to establish a headquarters ashore. During Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

, he commanded three corps directed at the two American invasion targets, Utah Beach
Utah Beach
Utah Beach was the code name for the right flank, or westernmost, of the Allied landing beaches during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as part of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944...

 and Omaha Beach. Later in July, he planned Operation Cobra
Operation Cobra
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II...

, the beginning of the breakout from the Normandy beachhead. Operation Cobra called for the use of strategic bombers using huge bomb loads to attack German defensive lines. After several postponements due to weather, the operation began on July 25, 1944 with a short, very intensive bombardment with lighter explosives, designed so as not to create greater rubble and craters that would slow Allied progress. Unfortunately, Bradley's failure to properly coordinate attack plans with strategic bombing forces resulted in hundreds of American casualties, including the death of a field officer, General Lesley McNair. However, the bombing was successful in knocking out the German communication system, leading to confusion and ineffectiveness, and opened the way for the ground offensive by attacking infantry. Bradley sent in three infantry divisions—the 9th, 4th and 30th—to move in close behind the bombing. The infantry succeeded in cracking the German defenses, opening the way for advances by armored forces commanded by General Patton to sweep around the German lines.

As the build-up continued in Normandy, the 3rd Army was formed under Patton, Bradley's former commander, while General Hodges succeeded Bradley in command of the 1st Army; together, they made up Bradley's new command, the 12th Army Group. By August, the 12th Army Group had swollen to over 900,000 men and ultimately consisted of four field armies. It was the largest group of American soldiers to ever serve under one field commander.

Falaise Pocket

Hitler's refusal to allow his army to flee the rapidly advancing Allied pincer movement created an opportunity to trap an entire German Army Group in northern France. After the German attempt to split the US armies at Mortain
Mortain
Mortain is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.-Geography:Mortain is situated on a rocky hill rising above the gorge of the Cance, a tributary of the Sélune.-Administration:Mortain is the seat of a canton...

 (Operation Lüttich
Operation Lüttich
Operation Lüttich was a codename given to a German counterattack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain from 7 August to 13 August 1944...

), Bradley's Army Group and XV Corps became the southern pincer in forming the Falaise Pocket
Falaise pocket
The battle of the Falaise Pocket, fought during the Second World War from 12 to 21 August 1944, was the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy...

, trapping the German Seventh Army
German Seventh Army
The 7th Army was a World War I and World War II field army of the German land forces.-Origins:The 7th Army was activated in Stuttgart on August 25, 1939 with General Friedrich Dollmann in command. At the outbreak of the war, the 7th Army defended the German border and manned the Westwall in the...

 and Fifth Panzer Army in Normandy. The northern pincer was formed of Canadian forces, part of British General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery's 21 Army Group. On August 13, 1944, concerned that American troops would clash with Canadian forces advancing from the north-west, Bradley overrode Patton's orders for a further push north towards Falaise, while ordering XV Corps to 'concentrate for operations in another direction'. Any American troops in the vicinity of Argentan were ordered to be withdrawn. This order effectively halted the southern pincer movement of General Haislip's XV Corps. Though General Patton protested the order, he obeyed it, leaving an exit - a 'trap with a gap' - for the remaining German forces. Around 20-50,000 German troops (leaving almost all of their heavy material) escaped through the gap, avoiding encirclement and almost certain destruction. They would later be reorganized and rearmed in time to slow the Allied advance into Holland and Germany. Most of the blame for this outcome has been placed on Bradley. Bradley had incorrectly assumed, based on Ultra decoding transcripts, that most of the Germans had already escaped encirclement, and he feared a German counterattack as well as possible friendly fire casualties. Though admitting a mistake had been made, Bradley placed the blame on General Montgomery for moving the Commonwealth troops too slowly, though the latter were in direct contact with a large number of SS Panzer, Fallschirmjaeger
3rd Parachute Division (Germany)
The 3rd Parachute Division was a German military unit that was active during World War II. Its formation began in October 1943 in France near Reims. From February 1944 near Brest...

, and other elite German forces.

Germany

The American forces reached the 'Siegfried Line' or 'Westwall' in late September. The success of the advance had taken the Allied high command by surprise. They had expected the German Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

to make stands on the natural defensive lines provided by the French rivers, and had not prepared the logistics for the much deeper advance of the Allied armies, so fuel ran short.

Eisenhower faced a decision on strategy. Bradley favored an advance into the Saarland
Saarland
Saarland is one of the sixteen states of Germany. The capital is Saarbrücken. It has an area of 2570 km² and 1,045,000 inhabitants. In both area and population, it is the smallest state in Germany other than the city-states...

, or possibly a two-thrust assault on both the Saarland and the Ruhr Area
Ruhr Area
The Ruhr, by German-speaking geographers and historians more accurately called Ruhr district or Ruhr region , is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With 4435 km² and a population of some 5.2 million , it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany...

. Montgomery argued for a narrow thrust across the Lower Rhine, preferably with all Allied ground forces under his personal command as they had been in the early months of the Normandy campaign, into the open country beyond and then to the northern flank into the Ruhr, thus avoiding the Siegfried Line
Siegfried Line
The original Siegfried line was a line of defensive forts and tank defences built by Germany as a section of the Hindenburg Line 1916–1917 in northern France during World War I...

. Although Montgomery was not permitted to launch an offensive on the scale he had wanted, George Marshall and Hap Arnold were eager to use the First Allied Airborne Army
First Allied Airborne Army
The First Allied Airborne Army was an Allied formation formed on 2 August 1944 by the order of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. The formation was part of the Allied Expeditionary Force and controlled all Allied airborne forces in Western...

 to cross the Rhine, so Eisenhower agreed to Operation Market-Garden. Bradley opposed Operation Market Garden, and bitterly protested to Eisenhower the priority of supplies given to Montgomery, but Eisenhower, mindful of British public opinion regarding damage from V-1 missile launches in the north, refused to make any changes.

Bradley's Army Group now covered a very wide front in hilly country, from the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 to Lorraine
Lorraine (région)
Lorraine is one of the 27 régions of France. The administrative region has two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated...

. Despite having the largest concentration of Allied army forces, Bradley faced difficulties in prosecuting a successful broad-front offensive in difficult country with a skilled enemy. General Bradley and his First Army commander, General Courtney Hodges
Courtney Hodges
General Courtney Hicks Hodges was an American military officer, most prominent for his role in World War II, in which he commanded the First United States Army in Northwest Europe.-Early life and military career:...

 eventually decided to attack through a corridor known as the Aachen Gap towards the German township of Schmidt. The only nearby military objectives were the Roer River flood control dams, but these were not mentioned in contemporary plans and documents. Bradley and Hodges' original objective may have been to outflank German forces and prevent them from reinforcing their units further north in the Battle of Aachen
Battle of Aachen
The Battle of Aachen was a battle in Aachen, Germany, which occurred between 2–21 October 1944. By September 1944, the Wehrmacht had been pushed into Germany proper, after being defeated in France by the Western Allies...

. After the war, Bradley would cite the Roer dams as the objective. Since the Germans held the dams, they could also unleash millions of gallons of water into the path of advance. The campaign's confused objectives, combined with poor intelligence resulted in the costly series of battles known as the Battle of Hurtgen Forest
Battle of Hurtgen Forest
The Battle of Hürtgen Forest is the name given to the series of fierce battles fought between U.S. and German forces during World War II in the Hürtgen Forest, which became the longest battle on German ground during World War II, and the longest single battle the U.S. Army has ever fought...

, which cost some 33,000 American casualties. At the end of the fighting in the Hurtgen, German forces remained in control of the Roer dams in what has been described as "the most ineptly fought series of battles of the war in the west." Further south, Patton's Third Army, which had been advancing with great speed, was faced with last priority (behind the U.S. First and Ninth Armies) for supplies, gasoline and ammunition. As a result, the Third Army lost momentum as German resistance stiffened around the extensive defenses surrounding the city of Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

. While Bradley focused on these two campaigns, the Germans were in the process of assembling troops and materiel for a surprise winter offensive.

Battle of the Bulge

Bradley's command took the initial brunt of what would become the Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

. For logistical and command reasons, General Eisenhower decided to place Bradley's 1st and Ninth Armies under the temporary command of Field-Marshal Montgomery's 21st Army Group on the northern flank of the Bulge. Bradley was incensed, and began shouting at Eisenhower: "By God, I cannot be responsible to the American people if you do this. I resign." Eisenhower turned red, took a breath and replied evenly "Brad, I - not you, am responsible to the American people. Your resignation therefore means absolutely nothing."." Bradley paused, made one more protest, then fell silent as Eisenhower concluded "Well, Brad, those are my orders." At least one historian has attributed Eisenhower's support for Bradley's subsequent promotion to four-star general was based in part on a desire to compensate him for the way in which he had been sidelined during the Battle of the Bulge. Others point out that both Secretary of War Stimson and General Eisenhower had desired to reward General Patton with a fourth star for his string of accomplishments in 1944, but that Eisenhower could not promote Patton over Bradley, Devers
Jacob L. Devers
General Jacob "Jake" Loucks Devers , commander of the 6th Army Group in Europe during World War II. He was the first United States military officer to reach the Rhine after D-Day.-Biography:...

, and other senior commanders without upsetting the chain of command.

Victory

Bradley used the advantage gained in March 1945—after Eisenhower authorized a difficult but successful Allied offensive (Operation Veritable
Operation Veritable
Operation Veritable was a Second World War pincer movement conducted by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's 21st Army Group to clear and occupy the land between the Rhine and Maas rivers. It took place between 8 February and 11 March 1945. It was a part of General Dwight Eisenhower's "broad front"...

 and Operation Grenade
Operation Grenade
During World War II, Operation Grenade was the plan for the U.S. 9th Army to cross the Roer river in February 1945.On 9 February, the U.S...

) in February 1945—to break the German defenses and cross the Rhine into the industrial heartland of the Ruhr. Aggressive pursuit of the disintegrating German troops by the Ninth Armored Division resulted in the capture of a bridge across the Rhine River at Remagen
Remagen
Remagen is a town in Germany in Rhineland-Palatinate, in the district of Ahrweiler. It is about a one hour drive from Cologne , just south of Bonn, the former West German capital. It is situated on the River Rhine. There is a ferry across the Rhine from Remagen every 10–15 minutes in the summer...

. Bradley quickly exploited the crossing, forming the southern arm of an enormous pincer movement
Pincer movement
The pincer movement or double envelopment is a military maneuver. The flanks of the opponent are attacked simultaneously in a pinching motion after the opponent has advanced towards the center of an army which is responding by moving its outside forces to the enemy's flanks, in order to surround it...

 encircling the German forces in the Ruhr from the north and south. Over 300,000 prisoners were taken. American forces then met up with the Soviet forces near the Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 River in mid-April. By V-E Day, the 12th Army Group was a force of four armies (1st, 3rd, 9th, and 15th) that numbered over 1.3 million men.

Command style

Unlike some of the more colorful generals of World War II, Bradley was polite and courteous in his public appearances. A reticent man, Bradley was first favorably brought to public attention by war correspondent
War correspondent
A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories firsthand from a war zone. In the 19th century they were also called Special Correspondents.-Methods:...

 Ernie Pyle
Ernie Pyle
Ernest Taylor Pyle was an American journalist who wrote as a roving correspondent for the Scripps Howard newspaper chain from 1935 until his death in combat during World War II. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944...

, who was urged by General Eisenhower to "go and discover Bradley". Pyle subsequently wrote several dispatches in which he referred to Bradley as the GI's general, a title that would stay with Bradley throughout his remaining career. Will Lang Jr.
Will Lang Jr.
William John Lang Jr. was an American journalist and a bureau head for Life magazine.- Early career :...

 of Life
Life (magazine)
Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

magazine said "The thing I most admire about Omar Bradley is his gentleness. He was never known to issue an order to anybody of any rank without saying 'Please' first."

While the public at large never forgot the image created by newspaper correspondents, a different view of Bradley was offered by combat historian S.L.A. Marshall, who knew both Bradley and George Patton, and had interviewed officers and men under their commands. Marshall, who was also a critic of George S. Patton, noted that Bradley's 'common man' image "was played up by Ernie Pyle...The GI's were not impressed with him. They scarcely knew him. He's not a flamboyant figure and he didn't get out much to troops. And the idea that he was idolized by the average soldier is just rot."

While Bradley retained his reputation as the GI's general, he was criticized by some of his contemporaries for other aspects of his leadership style, sometimes described as 'managerial' in nature. British General Bernard Montgomery's assessment of Bradley was that he was "dull, conscientious, dependable, and loyal". He had a habit of peremptorily relieving senior commanders who he felt were too independent, or whose command style did not agree with his own, such as the colorful and aggressive General Terry Allen
Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr.
Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr. was a division-level United States Army officer during World War II. Allen was a decorated World War I veteran who commanded the First Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily during 1942-43...

, commander of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division
U.S. 1st Infantry Division
The 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army is the oldest division in the United States Army. It has seen continuous service since its organization in 1917...

. While Patton is often viewed today as the prototype of the intolerant, impulsive commander, Bradley actually sacked far more generals and senior commanders during World War II, whereas Patton relieved only one general from his command - Orlando Ward
Orlando Ward
Orlando Ward was a career United States Army Officer. During World War II, as a Major General, he commanded the U.S. 1st Armored Division during Operation Torch...

 - for cause during the entire war (and only after giving General Ward two warnings).

Post-war

Veterans Administration

President Truman appointed Bradley to head the Veterans Administration
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

 for two years after the war. He is credited with doing much to improve its health care system and with helping veterans receive their educational benefits under the G. I. Bill of Rights. Bradley's influence on the VA is credited with helping shape it into the agency it is today. He was a regular visitor to Capitol Hill and lobbied on behalf of veterans' benefits in testimony before various congressional veteran affairs committees.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Bradley became the Army Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

 in 1948. After assuming command, Bradley found a U.S. military establishment badly in need of reorganization, equipment, and training. As Bradley himself put it, "the Army of 1948 could not fight its way out of a paper bag."

On August 11, 1949, President Harry S Truman appointed Bradley the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

. After his initial 1948 plan to expand the Army and modernize its equipment was rejected by the Truman Administration, Bradley reacted to the increasingly severe postwar defense department budget cutbacks imposed by Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson
Louis A. Johnson
Louis Arthur Johnson was the second United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the cabinet of President Harry S. Truman from March 28, 1949 to September 19, 1950....

 by publicly supporting Johnson's decisions, going so far as to tell Congress that he would be doing a "disservice to the nation" if he asked for a larger military force. Bradley also suggested that official Navy protests
Revolt of the Admirals
The Revolt of the Admirals is a name given to an episode that took place in the late 1940s in which several United States Navy admirals and high-ranking civilian officials publicly disagreed with the President and the Secretary of Defense's strategy and plans for the military forces in the early...

 of Secretary Johnson's actions in cancelling construction of its supercarrier, the USS United States
USS United States (CVA-58)
USS United States , the third ship of the United States Navy named for the nation, but canceled during construction, was to be the lead ship of a new design of aircraft carrier. On 29 July 1948 President Harry Truman approved construction of five "supercarriers", for which funds had been provided...

 were due to improper personal or political, even mutinous
Mutiny
Mutiny is a conspiracy among members of a group of similarly situated individuals to openly oppose, change or overthrow an authority to which they are subject...

 motives, calling Navy admirals "fancy dans who won't hit the line with all they have on every play unless they can call the signals", and who were in "open rebellion against the civilian control."

In his second memoir, Bradley would later state that not arguing more forcefully in 1948 and 1949 for a sufficient defense department budget "was a mistake...perhaps the greatest mistake I made in my postwar years in Washington."

On September 22, 1950, he was promoted to the rank of General of the Army
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

, the fifth — and last — man to achieve that rank. That same year, Bradley was made the first Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee's authority stems from the NATO Military Committee, to which he is responsible in the performance of his duties. He chairs all meetings of the Military Committee and acts in an international capacity. In his absence, the Deputy Chairman of the Military...

. He remained on the committee until August 1953, when he left active duty. During his service, Bradley visited the White House over 300 times and was frequently featured on the cover of TIME magazine.

Korea

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bradley was the senior military commander at the outset of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. When North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950, Bradley was faced with re-organizing and deploying an American military force that was a shadow of its World War II counterpart. The impact of the Truman administration's defense budget cutbacks were now keenly felt, as poorly equipped American troops, lacking sufficient tanks, anti-tank weapons, or artillery were driven down the Korean peninsula to Pusan in a series of costly rearguard actions. In a postwar analysis of the unpreparedness of U.S. Army forces deployed to Korea during the summer and fall of 1950, Army Major General Floyd L. Parks stated that "Many who never lived to tell the tale had to fight the full range of ground warfare from offensive to delaying action, unit by unit, man by man...[T]hat we were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat...does not relieve us from the blame of having placed our own flesh and blood in such a predicament."

Bradley was the chief military policy maker during the Korean War, and supported Truman's original plan of 'rolling back' Communist aggression by conquering all of North Korea. When Chinese Communists entered North Korea in late 1950 and again drove back American forces, Bradley agreed that rollback had to be dropped in favor of a containment strategy of North Korea. The containment strategy was subsequently adopted by the Truman administration for North Korea, and applied to communist expansion worldwide. Never an admirer of General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

, Bradley was instrumental in convincing Truman to dismiss MacArthur as the overall commander in the Korean theatre after MacArthur resisted administration attempts to scale back strategic objectives in the Korean War.

In testimony to Congress Bradley strongly rebuked MacArthur for his support of victory at all costs in Korea. Soon after Truman relieved MacArthur of command in April 1951, Bradley said in Congressional testimony, "Red China is not the powerful nation seeking to dominate the world. Frankly, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this strategy would involve us in the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy
The wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy
"The wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy" is General Omar Bradley's famous rebuke in his May 15, 1951 Congressional testimony as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the idea of extending the Korean War into China, as proposed by General Douglas...

."

Retirement

In retirement Bradley held a number of positions in commercial life, among them Chairman of the Board
Chair (official)
The chairman is the highest officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office is typically elected or appointed by the members of the group. The chairman presides over meetings of the assembled group and conducts its business in an...

 of the Bulova Watch Company
Bulova
Bulova is a corporation making luxury watches and clocks. It has its headquarters in Woodside, Queens, New York City.Bulova was founded and incorporated as the J. Bulova Company in 1875 by Joseph Bulova , an immigrant from Bohemia...

 from 1958 to 1973.

His memoirs, A Soldier's Story (ghostwritten by A.J. Liebling), appeared in 1951; a fuller autobiography A General's Life: An Autobiography (coauthored by Clay Blair
Clay Blair
Clay Blair, Jr. was an American historian, best known for his books on military history. He served on the fleet submarine Guardfish in World War II and later wrote for Time and Life magazines before becoming editor-in-chief of The Saturday Evening Post. He assisted General Omar Bradley in the...

) appeared in 1983) He took the opportunity to attack Field Marshal Montgomery's 1945 claims to have won the Battle of the Bulge. Bradley spent his last years in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 at a special residence on the grounds of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center
William Beaumont Army Medical Center
William Beaumont Army Medical Center is a Department of Defense medical facility located in El Paso, Texas. It provides comprehensive care to all beneficiaries including active duty military, their family members, and retirees...

, part of the complex which supports Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss is a United States Army post in the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. With an area of about , it is the Army's second-largest installation behind the adjacent White Sands Missile Range. It is FORSCOM's largest installation, and has the Army's largest Maneuver Area behind the...

.

On December 1, 1965, Bradley's wife, Mary, died of leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

. He met Esther Dora "Kitty" Buhler and married her on September 12, 1966; they were married until his death.

As a horse racing fan, Bradley spent much of his leisure time at racetracks in California and often presented the winners trophies. He also was a lifetime sports fan, especially of college football. He was the 1948 Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses and attended several subsequent Rose Bowl games (his black limousine with personalized CA license plate "ONB" and a red plate with 5 gold stars was frequently seen driving through Pasadena streets with police motorcycle escort toward the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day), and was prominent at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, and the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana in later years.

Bradley also served as a member of President Lyndon Johnson's Wise Men, a high-level advisory group considering policy for the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Bradley was a hawk and recommended against withdrawal from Vietnam

In 1970, Bradley served as a consultant for the film Patton
Patton (film)
Patton is a 1970 American biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner from a script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H...

, though the extent of his active participation is largely unknown. Screenwriters Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

 and Edmund H. North
Edmund H. North
Edmund Hall North , was an American screenwriter who shared an Academy Award for "Best Original Screenplay" with Francis Ford Coppola in 1970 for their script for Patton....

 wrote most of the film based on two biographies, Bradley's A Soldier's Story and Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago
Ladislas Farago
Ladislas Farago was a military historian and journalist who published a number of best-selling books on history and espionage, especially concerning the World War II era....

. As the film was made without access to General Patton's diaries or any information from his family, it largely relied upon observations by Bradley and other military contemporaries when attempting to reconstruct Patton's thoughts and motives. In a review of the film Patton, S.L.A. Marshall, who knew both Patton and Bradley, stated that "The Bradley name gets heavy billing on a picture of [a] comrade that, while not caricature, is the likeness of a victorious, glory-seeking buffoon...Patton in the flesh was an enigma. He so stays in the film...Napoleon once said that the art of the general is not strategy but knowing how to mold human nature...Maybe that is all producer Frank McCarthy and Gen. Bradley, his chief advisor, are trying to say." While Bradley knew Patton personally, it was also well known that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and that Bradley despised Patton both personally and professionally. Bradley's role in the film remains controversial to this day.

Bradley attended the 30th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy, France on June 6, 1974, participating in various parades.

On January 10, 1977, Bradley was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 by President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

.

One of Bradley's last public appearances was at the festivities surrounding the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 in January 1981.

Omar Bradley died on April 8, 1981 in New York City of a cardiac arrhythmia, just a few minutes after receiving an award from the National Institute of Social Sciences. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

, next to his two wives.

Recognition

Bradley's posthumous autobiography, A General's Life, was published in 1983; the book was begun by Bradley himself, who found writing difficult, and so Clay Blair
Clay Blair
Clay Blair, Jr. was an American historian, best known for his books on military history. He served on the fleet submarine Guardfish in World War II and later wrote for Time and Life magazines before becoming editor-in-chief of The Saturday Evening Post. He assisted General Omar Bradley in the...

 was brought in to help shape the autobiography; after Bradley's death, Blair continued the writing, making the unusual choice of using Bradley's first-person voice. The resulting book is highly readable, and based on extremely thorough research, including extensive interviews with all concerned, and Bradley's own papers.

Bradley is known for saying, "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than about peace, more about killing than we know about living."

The U.S. Army's M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and M3 Bradley cavalry fighting vehicle are named after General Bradley.

Bradley's hometown, Moberly, Missouri, is planning a library and museum in his honor. Two recent Bradley Leadership Symposia in Moberly have honored his role as one of the American military's foremost teachers of young officers. On February 12, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Missouri Senate, the Missouri House, the County of Randolph and the City of Moberly all recognized Bradley's birthday as General Omar Nelson Bradley Day. The ceremony marking the day was held at his high school alma mater and featured addresses by the current Congressional representative, Blaine Luetkemeyer, and Moberly High School Principal Aaron Vitt.

On May 5, 2000, the United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 issued a series of Distinguished Soldiers stamps in which Bradley was honored.

Dates of rank

No pin insignia in 1915 Second Lieutenant, United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

: June 12, 1915
First Lieutenant, United States Army: October 13, 1916
Captain, United States Army: August 22, 1917
Major
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

, National Army: July 17, 1918
Captain, Regular Army (reverted to permanent rank): November 4, 1922
Major, Regular Army: June 27, 1924
Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army: July 22, 1936
Colonel, Regular Army: November 13, 1943
Brigadier General
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

, Army of the United States
Army of the United States
The Army of the United States is the official name for the conscription force of the United States Army that may be raised at the discretion of the United States Congress in the event of the United States entering into a major armed conflict...

: February 24, 1941
Major General
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

, Army of the United States: February 18, 1942
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

, Army of the United States: June 9, 1943
General
General (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, general is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an...

, Army of the United States: March 29, 1945
General rank made permanent in the Regular Army: January 31, 1949
General of the Army
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

, Regular Army: September 22, 1950

Orders, decorations and medals

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal (Army)
The Distinguished Service Medal is a military award of the United States Army that is presented to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States military, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great...

 (With three oak leaf cluster
Oak leaf cluster
An oak leaf cluster is a common device which is placed on U.S. Army and Air Force awards and decorations to denote those who have received more than one bestowal of a particular decoration. The number of oak leaf clusters typically indicates the number of subsequent awards of the decoration...

s)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
The Navy Distinguished Service Medal is a military award of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps which was first created in 1919. The decoration is the Navy and Marine Corps equivalent to the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, and the Coast...

Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

 (w/oak leaf cluster)
Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

Mexican Border Service Medal
Mexican Border Service Medal
The Mexican Border Service Medal was a decoration of the United States military which was established by an act of the United States Congress on July 9, 1918...

World War I Victory Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal
The American Defense Service Medal is a decoration of the United States military, recognizing service before America’s entry into the Second World War but during the initial years of the European conflict.-Criteria:...

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal is a military decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created on November 6, 1942 by issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt...

 with one silver and three campaign stars
World War II Victory Medal
World War II Victory Medal
The World War II Victory Medal is a decoration of the United States military which was created by an act of Congress in July 1945. The decoration commemorates military service during World War II and is awarded to any member of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of...

Army of Occupation Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
The Army of Occupation Medal is a military award of the United States military which was established by the United States War Department on 5 April 1946. The medal was created in the aftermath of the Second World War to recognize those who had performed occupation service in either Germany or Japan...

 with Germany clasp
National Defense Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
The National Defense Service Medal is a military service medal of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower...

 with star
British Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
French Croix de guerre with palm
Croix de guerre 1939-1945 (France)
The Croix de guerre 1939–1945 is a French military decoration created on September 26, 1939, to honour people who fought with the Allies against the Axis force at any time during World War II.-Recipients:...

Order of Kutuzov (1st class)
Order of Kutuzov
The Order of Kutuzov is a Soviet and Russian military award, named after famous Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov ....

Order of Suvorov (1st class)
Order of Suvorov
The Order of Suvorov is a Soviet award, named after Aleksandr Suvorov , that was established on July 29, 1942 by a decision of the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of the USSR. This decoration was created to award senior army personnel for exceptional leadership in combat operations...

Luxembourg War Cross
Luxembourg War Cross
The Luxembourg War Cross is a military decoration of Luxembourg which was first created on 17 April 1945 by the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. The War Cross recognizes military service and feats of bravery performed between the years of 1940 and 1945...

Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...


Assignment history

  • 1911: Cadet, United States Military Academy
  • 1915: 14th Infantry Regiment
  • 1919: ROTC professor, South Dakota State College
    South Dakota State University
    South Dakota State University is the largest university in the U.S. state of South Dakota, located in Brookings. A public land-grant university and sun grant college, founded under the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act, SDSU offers programs of study required by, or harmonious to, this Act...

  • 1920: Instructor, United States Military Academy
    United States Military Academy
    The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

     (West Point)
  • 1924: Infantry School Student, Fort Benning, Georgia
  • 1925: Commanding Officer, 19th and 27th Infantry Regiments
  • 1927: Office of National Guard and Reserve Affairs, Hawaiian Department
  • 1928: Student, Command and General Staff School
  • 1929: Instructor, Fort Benning, Infantry School
    United States Army Infantry School
    The United States Army Infantry School is located in Fort Benning, Georgia. It is made up of the following components:*192d Infantry Brigade...

  • 1934: Plans and Training Office, USMA West Point
  • 1938: War Department General Staff, G-1 Chief of Operations Branch and Assistant Secretary of the General Staff
  • 1941: Commandant, Infantry School Fort Benning
  • 1942: Commanding General, 82nd Infantry Division and 28th Infantry Division
  • 1943: Commanding General, II Corps, North Africa and Sicily
  • 1943: Commanding General, Field Forces European Theater

  • 1944: Commanding General, First Army (Later 1st and 12th U.S. Army Groups)
  • 1945: Administrator of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Administration
  • 1948: United States Army Chief of Staff
  • 1949: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • 1953: Retired from active service

External links

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